03 October 2006

Massachusetts PI linked to HP scandal

News stories about HP's ill-conceived investigation of board members' and reporters' phone records now identify the "pretexting" private investigator as Ronald DeLia, owner of Massachusetts-based Security Outsourcing Solutions.

Targets of HP's investigation included HP board member and Kleiner Perkins co-founder Tom Perkins, who quit the board and then wrote a letter to HP describing how investigators fraudulently accessed his personal phone records by using personal information such as his social security number.

DeLia pled the Fifth rather than testify before Congress today on the issue, but in 1999, he was very clear about the matter. In the July 1999 issue (pdf, mirror) of his Corporate Homicide newsletter he quoted an identity theft victim, "when somebody gets your Social Security number, they have the key to your front door forever." The article concludes, "Congress made identity theft a felony [in 1999]."

See also: HP emails not good for Hunsaker, HP investigator destroys his computer with hammer, HP spies on reporter's family, and Congress releases HP investigation internal memo.

Other sites covering the story:

- BoingBoing: EEERNGH! EEERNGH! Irony overload alarm activated!
- Wired's 27B Stroke 6: HP Investigator warns that identity theft is a felony
- Robert X. Cringeley: The buck stops where?
- InformationWeek: Congress takes HP to the woodshed
- Silicon Valley Watcher: When lawyers play spies
- Infectious Greed: Watching the HP detectives
- Wall Street Journal: Probing the pretexters
- Rob Hyndman: The HP saga: focus on Hurd, Hunsacker on ethics
- St. Petersburg Times: Congress calls on pretexters to testify
- Rocky Mountain News: HP scandal reaches state
- Chron.com: HP whistleblower Nye tried to avert scandal
- Law.com: Hewlett-Packard, Wilson Sonsini part ways in Calif. probe
- ZDNet Between the Lines: Hurd says he will re-build board and fix the process
- Rob Hyndman: HP scandal: the buck stops where?
- Mercury News: Incredulous lawmakers grill HP managers
- ABC News: HP chairs agree company behaved horribly
- Mercury News: Hurd becomes focus after HP's top lawyer resigns
- The Financial Express: Dunn says DeLia employed since 1990s
- Macworld: Lawmakers grill HP execs in pretexting hearing
- AP: Lawmakers compare HP scandal to Enron
- SV Confidential: Who's pleading the fifth
- Silicon Valley Watcher: Morning questioning of Dunn and Sonsini
- Reuters: Former HP executives invoke right not to testify
- Bloomberg.com: Hurd says leaks weren't his top priority
- Time Magazine: Is the HP spying scandal another Enron?
- WSJ Law Blog: Kona: Far from paradise for Dunn
- Glenn Fleishman's Glennlog: Dun Dunn
- CNET: Congress to subpoena private investigator
- boqpod.com: Ex-HP Chair says others knew of probe

Further reading:

While Security Outsourcing's web site no longer gives a phone number lists a phone number that's actually for their lawyers, Gilberg Kurent & Kiernan, earlier archived copies of the site here and here (via the Internet Archive) have the original contact information. The first link is for a recent version of the site and gives a phone number that is listed under DeLia's name and address in Needham, MA. The second link is for a much older version of the site from 1999, and gives a different number that is listed under DeLia's wife's name in South Dennis, MA.

Tom Perkins' letter to HP contains details about the fraudulent access of his phone records. The requests were made using two email addresses: mike@yahoo.com and redsox9855@yahoo.com, the latter being slightly less of a smoking gun than doing-an-investigation-on-behalf-of-hp-from-my-home-in-needham@yahoo.com. The on-line requests for access came from a single IP address,, which belongs to Cox Communications, and which may be for a computer in the Omaha area (based on a reverse lookup and traceroute). The Rocky Mountain news reports that this IP address may have been used by Bryan C. Wagner, a Littleton, CO investigator. Wagner has lived in the Omaha area.

In the May/June 2000 issue (pdf, mirror) of Corporate Homicide, DeLia writes about using Anonymizer to visit web sites and send email without leaving an identifying trail.

DeLia's is the only name on the masthead for Corporate Homicide.

HP's documents quoted recently only say they provided investigators with names and phone numbers. Here's an excerpt from one internal company communication:

We provide DeLia the names and telephone numbers we are interested in, he passes the information to the third-party company, and they then make the pretext calls to the phone service providers,'' Hunsaker wrote to Baskins on May 1.


(updated 3 Oct 06, first posted 27 Sep 06 @ 11:14PM)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try doing a whois lookup on these creep's domain... you'll get their home address and phone number.